Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Internet Happenings

Before I resume with the semi-daily tour update, I'd like to mention a few cool things happening on the information superhighway.

The multi-talented MJ Rose has come up with an innovative way to spread the word about her third Dr. Morgan Snow book, The Venus Fix. The first two in the series, The Halo Effect and The Delilah Complex were terrific thrillers, nicely combining hot and steamy sex with hair raising thrills. Go out and buy many copies of each.

To support the new book, MJ is touring the blogosphere much like I'm touring the country, which is a smart and innovative idea.

The Goal: to get 500 blogs to write about THE VENUS FIX and link to the Vidlit or an Interview with me about it. MJ will donate $5 to a charity that the bloggers themselves chose for each link.

All the rules are here at Myspace. Go and check them out, right now. I'll still be here when you get back.

Upon hearing about her tour, it made perfect sense to turn this into a friendly competition to see who reaches 500 first. Here's the official press release:

TWO ROADS DIVERGE

J.A. Konrath and M.J. Rose both have both taken to the highway to help their publishers market their books.

J.A. Konrath (RUSTY NAIL 7/1) is driving across the country on the concrete highway with the goal of hitting 500 bookstores by the end of the Aug.

M.J. Rose (THE VENUS FIX 7/1) driving across country on the virtual highway with the goal of reaching 500 blogs by the end of Aug.

Konrath has his car, toothbrush, deodorant, and a GPS device and is planning to stop in every bookstore he can find.

Rose has a fund raising effort, an information page up at myspace where bloggers can learn about the contest and four video clips including a Vidlit, Author Interview and BookGroup video discussion.

Rather than "may the better author win" – "may they both win."

Besides donating $5 for every blog and bookseller who gets involved in MJ's effort via the info at Myspace.com, she will also link back them on a special page at my website and mention them in the acknowledgements of her next book.

So you're helping two worthy causes (a charity and MJ Rose, who is tireless in her efforts to help other writers learn about promotion).

If you want to be counted be sure you read the instructions at MySpace.com and then send a permalink to venusfix@gmail.com. Every blogger who participates will also be entered in a weekly drawing for a signed, personalized copy of THE VENUS FIX!

I'd be delighted if everyone who reads this blog not only links to MJ, but helps to spread the word about her efforts.

I'd also like to raise the stakes. A friendly competition is fine, but I think that there should be more to win than simple bragging rights. So I'm throwing down the gauntlet.

Bouchercon is in Madison, Wisconsin this year. I think the loser should throw a room party, complete with champagne and cake, in the winner's honor. Naturally, everyone will be invited.

Are you up for it, MJ? I know a great bakery in Madison where you could buy a lovely cake decorated with the cover of RUSTY NAIL. Also, for your future reference, I prefer Asti Spumante to champagne...

In other blog news, several friends of mine have recently started a new blog called The Outfit. This Chicago based mystery blog combines the talents of Sean Chercover, Barbara D'Amato, Michael Allen Dymmoch, Kevin Guilfoile, Libby Hellmann, Sara Paretsky, and Marcus Sakey. I encourage everyone to check it out and link to it.

I'm running late today, and have to get from Nashville to Peoria by 4pm, so I can't do a full tour update until later, but here are the current stats:

Miles driven so far: 2276
Bookstores visited so far: 94
Books signed so far: 590
Books hand sold so far: 69
Bookstores remaining: 406

If all goes well, I'll visit my 100th bookstore today.

And now, back to the road...

11 comments:

M.J. said...

You're on. Winner buys at Bouchercon and everyone is invited.

Chris Well said...

It was a great pleasure to connect with you in Nashville, Joe - good luck on the rest of the tour!

Devon Ellington said...

You're doing great, Joe!

And what a great idea, for the competition!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

MJ's marketing ideas never cease to amaze me.

John Jones said...

Wait, wait, back up a second. JA says loser pays, MJ says winner pays.

So who pays?

Richard said...

This is too sexy to pass up.

M.J. said...

I think Joe is going to win - so I said winner pays:)

No seriously, let's go with Joe's way - looser pays.

I think he's going to win because - and this is a good lesson in marketing - his goal is his to achieve. Mine depends on bloggers to agree to do the links and that's work for them and it means I have to reach enough bloggers who are well read to reach other blogger.

In fact if I win - I'll be astounded. This whole thing is teaching me something.

Like - take out blog ads instead of asking bloggers to link even for a good cause.

Scott Marlowe said...

Great idea! Best of luck to both contestants!

JT Ellison said...

This is one competition that there won't be any losers!
I'd like to add one suggestion for us to supplement ach marketing tour. People, go buy Joe and MJ's books! They are both great writers with fascinating characters and strong plots. You won't be sorry you invested in them.
Good luck to you both! Safe driving and surfing...

Marcus Sakey said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Joe! In return, if you lose, I won't show up to your party and drink all the booze. ;)

Andrea Campbell said...

J.A., I don't know if you remember me, but we've written on several occasions. Listen, I think what you're doing with this mindbending book tour is fantastic and I wish I were on the road with you. (Maybe we can arrange that in the future.) In addition, this running commentary serves to "demystify" the process of book buzz and all I can say to that is, "Good job!" When you get settled again, send me a note and we can get an interview in my author's newsletter (again). Cheers,
Andrea Campbell; campbell@arkansas.net